The tragic deaths of two British tourists while off-roading in the South Island high country has led to a record fine for the tour company and a conviction for the Director. We cover the sentencing in this issue. In addition, we take a brief look at the concept of ‘health and safety by design’ as well as the duties imposed on designers by HASWA. We also have articles on two overseas prosecutions involving failures to manage risks that may not be top of mind for New Zealand companies when thinking about work health and safety – a failure to manage fatigue and injuries to workers exposed to hand and arm vibration for prolonged periods. Finally, we provide a link to new guidance on managing the risks of solar UV radiation when working outside.
VL Safe Side - Issue 31
Happy New Year from the VL health and safety team! In our first issue of the Safe Side for 2022, we look at two overseas prosecutions that resulted from failures in the safe handling of cattle. We also have articles on a recent methyl bromide exposure prosecution, an enforceable undertaking that was accepted by WorkSafe after a worker had his leg amputated in road working machinery and a summary of guidance for using bouncy castles after the horrific incident in Tasmania. Finally, we also look at how WorkSafe has been responding to deliberate and serious breaches of COVID-19 Orders and the new risk assessment tool for worker vaccination launched by Government.
VL Safe Side - Issue 30
With Christmas just around the corner, we thought we’d cover the good news “elf and safety” story about Santa turning his high risk operations around, and embracing safety in his workplace – just in time for the biggest delivery event of the year. We also cover the work injury statistics for 2020, the filing of charges for a death in a Victorian carwash, the sentencing of a tourist operator after a worker fell down a hatch, and a Resource Management Act sentencing that resulted in imprisonment of an offender. Finally, we provide information on updated guidance on ventilation in the workplace to manage the risks of COVID-19 transmission.
VL Safe Side - Issue 29
It seems that directors are being prosecuted more frequently by health and safety regulators in New Zealand and Australia. In this issue, we report on the first sentencing of a director following a WorkSafe prosecution and another conviction (under appeal) of a director in Queensland. We also look at the first Compliance Notice issued by the Privacy Commissioner and a substantial fine under the Fair Trading Act for a company selling unsafe hot water bottles. Finally, we briefly cover an official review which found that WorkSafe fell short of good practice in its regulation of activities on Whakaari/White Island before the devastating eruption in 2019.
VL Safe Side - Issue 28
The last few months have been dominated by COVID-19 as the Delta variant has spread through our communities. In this month’s Safe Side, we look at some of the health and safety issues associated with COVID-19 including the commencement of two prosecutions in Australia, the vaccination of employees and working from home. We also touch on the review of the Adventure Activities regime that was initiated after the Whakaari/White Island eruption along with a prosecution that followed a worker’s death in machinery on a factory ship.
VL SafeSide - issue 27
Maritime NZ continues to “push the boat out” as a health and safety regulator. In our last issue, we covered its prosecution of a New Zealand company whose worker was injured while overseas. In this issue, we look at some novel and significant charges Maritime NZ has filed against Ports of Auckland and an individual following the death of a worker last year. We also touch on WorkSafe’s advice to farmers as spring approaches, more convictions after a quad bike death and the death of a worker in Queensland when working in very hot weather conditions. Finally, we have an article on the conviction of a pest control company after a worker nearly died from chemical poisoning.
VL SafeSide - issue 26
Significant and concerning conviction of a New Zealand company after its employee was injured while working overseas. We also have articles on two recent convictions that resulted in fines of more than $400,000, as well as a prosecution that arose after a quad bike fatality. Finally, we touch on new research about creating safer and healthier work for those in the trucking industry.
VL SafeSide - issue 25
We all live with “dust” in our everyday lives but we may not appreciate that some types of dust are deadly. In this issue, we look at two prosecutions that resulted from a failure to control the risks associated with exposure to dust in a workplace. We also cover a prosecution in New South Wales that arose after a labour hire worker was killed at his workplace along with a case where an Auckland company was prosecuted after a worker was shot in the heart with a nail gun. In addition, we summarise some of the duties of PCBUs in relation to first aid and update you on a Bill before the Victoria Parliament to make it unlawful to insure against health and safety fines.
VL SafeSide - issue 24
This month we have three articles about health and safety leadership, including two covering recent prosecutions in Western Australia and the UK that resulted in jail terms for a director and a site manager. We also look at a new enforceable undertaking in the maritime sector and the sentencing of a steel company after a serious workplace injury. Finally, we provide an update on the latest data on work fatalities.
VL SafeSide - issue 23
Vero Liability’s Statutory Liability insurance is not just about cover for health and safety matters, it also responds to unexpected and unintentional breaches of a wide range of laws that may result in the prosecution of a business. In this issue, we take a look at some recent examples of other statutory prosecutions under the Fair Trading Act, the Resource Management Act and somewhat unusually, the Biosecurity Act. We also cover a health and safety prosecution for the death of a worker while using an organic solvent adhesive and provide some facts, figures and links to guidance about managing the increasingly topical issue of workplace stress.
VL SafeSide - issue 22
In this issue, we look at a recent High Court decision on contracts and PCBU duties. We also briefly cover some recent convictions from New Zealand and overseas, the obligation to prepare for emergencies and the fall in the number of EUs being accepted by WorkSafe. Finally, we update you on the findings from the independent review of health and safety at Ports of Auckland.
VL SafeSide - issue 21
Health and safety is often the butt of jokes about managing risks that are unlikely to ever result in harm or that will result in insignificant injuries like papercuts. But the reality is that scores of people are killed each year as a result of work activities and thousands more are seriously injured. In this issue, we cover one intervention that research shows can really make a difference in the agriculture sector – wearing a seatbelt on farm vehicles. We also look at the recent report into Police bullying and provide links to information on how to manage bullying in the workplace and a tragic incident in the UK that should serve as a warning to New Zealand local authorities that provide play equipment for children. Finally, we report on two recent prosecutions in New Zealand – one of which resulted in a Court imposing more than $500,000 in fines and reparations and another where multiple PCBUs in the contractual chain were charged and convicted.
VL SafeSide - issue 20
Most businesses aren’t overjoyed when a health and safety inspector turns up at their workplace, but it rarely pays to repeatedly refuse to cooperate with them. In this issue, we look at two individuals who were prosecuted for doing just that. We also cover the first enforceable undertaking accepted by Maritime New Zealand, where to find guidance on working in the heat and a recent prosecution by Auckland Council for RMA and Building Act offences. Finally, we look at a further conviction of a gasfitter by WorkSafe following the tragic death of a child and an Australian prosecution that engineering consultancies in New Zealand may like to pay attention to.
VL SafeSide - issue 19
In this issue, we are looking at two significant sentencings – the first as a result of the massive gas explosion that destroyed six houses in Christchurch in 2019, and the second a record fine for Ports of Auckland following the death of a worker. We also cover the limited review of WorkSafe’s regulatory role in the Whakaari/White Island eruption, the ongoing issue of risk assessments when using machinery and how to get $180 back after installing a crush protection device on your quad bike.
VL SafeSide - issue 18
The eruption of Whakaari/White Island just over a year ago was seen by many New Zealanders as a “natural” disaster. However, WorkSafe has now filed criminal charges against 13 parties involved in operations on the Island in what will likely be some of the most significant health and safety prosecutions in New Zealand’s history. We cover these developments in this issue. We also look at a massive fine for industrial manslaughter in Queensland and another big reparation payment in New Zealand – this time following a fatality in the forestry sector. In addition, we touch on the safe use of farm vehicles, the reduction in work fatality figures over the past year and, on a lighter note, introduce both the new Minister and WorkSafe’s fluffy animal safety mascots.
VL SafeSide - issue 17
In this issue, we revisit the Pike River Mine disaster – an event which led to a massive shake up in health and safety regulation in New Zealand. We also look at the ongoing problem of serious injuries and deaths amongst new workers, the risks of working from home and a prosecution that could have been avoided by picking up the phone and calling WorkSafe.
VL SafeSide - issue 16
One of the most challenging aspects of health and safety is that risk is rarely static. In this issue, we look at some actions a business can take to manage these changes and minimise the likelihood that they will result in harm to workers.
VL Safe Side - issue 15
Special issue providing basic guidance and links to information about what businesses need to manage their risks of COVID-19 at work.
VL SafeSide - issue 14
A wide range of businesses have been prosecuted for fall incidents - read about cases and how to manage hazards.
VL SafeSide - Issue 13
Added pressure and stress at this time of the year can result in Health & Safety risks... Remind your staff regularly to be careful and follow procedures. Wishing you all a safe and joyful festive season!
VL SafeSide - Issue 12
It is upmost important that new workers are provided with comprehensive health & safety training/information for active accident prevention, as especially new staff is less likely to be aware of existing and potential risks.
VL SafeSide - Issue 11
Importantce of Statutory Liability Insurance in light of investigations for halth and safety.
VL SafeSide - Issue 10
Keeping an eye on Health & Safety performance from the board table.
VL SafeSide - Issue 9
Managing the aftermath of a work accident.
VL SafeSide - Issue 8
Designers', manufacturers', suppliers' and Importers' duties under the spotlight.